Jos-Tens of Thousands of Dollars.

I graduated high school approximately 127 years ago so I have only faint memories of the process leading up through senior year to graduation. I never really expected to have to think about it again – including how to navigate through it – because I don’t have children. I do, of course, have my step-daughter, Vee, […]

Spy Girls.

The birth of Agent V – Spy Girl, and her arch-nemesis, Mr. X, was a fluke; a complete accident brought about from the convergence of a Happy Meal toy, several Japanese cartoon and video characters, and a desperate need, on my part, to come up with something that would entertain V when she was seven […]

A Rose by Any Other Name…

V came to me the other day and informed me that she wants to change her last name. She knows I chose my own name and she wanted to know what the procedure was for doing it, and how one picked a name that would harmoniously go with one’s first name, which is, of course, […]

Driving Lessons.

As a step-mom, you have to be careful not to overstep your boundaries with the real mom; life is a constant negotiation, with strategic planning taking place around many things. V’s mom emigrated here with her mother from the Ukraine; she has her priorities and perspectives and they don’t often match anyone else’s. She and […]

Extroverted Introversion.

When V was little, her dad and I often took her to the playground to play. Invariably, we would get there and get settled, and then her dad would tell her to go ahead and go up to the other kids and start playing with them. This is something parents seem to do all of […]

Fatherwhodunnit?

What do you do when your stepdaughter turns to you in the car and asks you whether her father ever really loved her? My heart broke for her, but I knew I had to be as honest as possible while tailoring my answer to her age and ability to understand. I could see that, although […]

The Cold War.

I went into the parenting section of the bookstore the other day and while there were shelves of books on parenting, there was maybe one on step-parenting. Why there is no guide book on the step-family situation – which judging by my experiences and what I’ve been hearing and reading from friends and on blogs, […]